A MAN fined after a two-hour rooftop ‘siege’ during which he asked for $20 million and a getaway helicopter says it was just a “joke”.

Edward Hughes says he was on the roof in Hazel Grove, Mold, moving a neighbour’s television aerial, when the police arrived and it “spiralled” out of control.

He now plans to appeal against his conviction, which he says was a “travesty of justice” and says it could end up costing the taxpayer about £20,000.

Mr Hughes, 50, also known as Edward Squires, now of Queen’s Park, Mold, said
the case was a farce and he would go to the High Court and the European Court of Human Rights to clear his name.

Mr Hughes was fined £100 with £615 costs when he appeared at Flintshire
Magistrates Court at Mold last week charged with obstruction.

The court heard the police were there because he had been recalled to prison.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Hughes said: “I am an aerial technician by trade. As I was climbing up on the roof, I heard a bang and there were police officers in the back garden. They asked me if I was coming down and I said ’not yet’. I requested a high-ranking officer to attend to oversee the conduct of the officers.

“I asked what it was about and they said I had broken my licence. I asked for documentation to be produced.

“I made a phone call to my solicitor and he told me not to go with them without documentation. I was on the roof for about two hours. They brought two negotiators.

“I asked them if they were good negotiators and they told me they were very good, so I said ‘shall we start with $20 million and a helicopter?’

“It was a joke. It had spiralled out of control and the cost to the taxpayer was escalating.”

After two hours a senior officer decided to withdraw police and Mr Hughes came down from the roof on his own accord.

The court heard officers wanted to arrest him because he was recalled to prison but during the hearing Bob Hanratty, defending, said that despite long delays in the case the prosecution had still not produced the prison recall notice.

Mr Edwards said: “I have instructed a barrister to conduct the appeal to Crown Court. It’s a farce. My solicitor estimates this has cost the taxpayer £20,000 over 14 months.

“It is a travesty of justice.”